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Jun 17, 2020

Belize Seeks Relief on Payment of Super Bond

It is no secret that the Government of Belize is in dire financial straits due to the economic downturn associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.  On June fourth, government, in an effort to raise much needed foreign exchange, launched the first-of-its-kind treasury note in order to raise thirty million U.S. dollars.  Earlier today, it announced a request for interest capitalization on the Super Bond, also citing the devastating effect of the new coronavirus disease on Belize’s economy.  Essentially, it is seeking permission from holders of Belize’s U.S. dollar bonds that are due on August twentieth to defer and capitalize interest in 2021. If this happens, the interest due will be added to the principal. This afternoon, News Five spoke with Financial Secretary Joseph Waight who said that the principal due for the August payment is roughly twenty-six million U.S. dollars.


On the Phone: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“The Government of Belize sent out a press release this morning basically saying that we intend to ask the bondholders for a consent that we defer and capitalize interests for the next year.  The request will be, it hasn’t gone out yet, but the request will be that we take the interest payments that have fallen due and we defer, not pay them, but instead we capitalize, add them on to principal of the loan and we pay at the end of maturity of the loan.  Of course the interest would be paid on that deferred payment as well.  So we’re asking for basically a relief by not paying right now but capitalize, adding it on to the outstanding amount.  The interest, the principal outstanding would go up to the extent of the payments that were due which was about twenty-six million U.S. dollars and that we pay at the end of the period when the rest of the bond becomes due.”


Isani Cayetano

“Would this constitute a default nonetheless, if we’re unable to meet this particular agreement this time around?”


On the Phone: Joseph Waight

“Well if they don’t consent, they don’t agree and we then don’t pay then yes that would be a default, but we’re hoping to avoid that.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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